Team chat culture

team chat cultureThere is a clear trend of migrating work conversations from email to team communication tools. But how do you make sure your team chats actually help your team get work done and don’t become a source of distraction and as unproductive as email? The answer lies in the right team chat culture.

Text-based communication has been a part of business communications for a long time. Not every question is urgent enough to justify a phone call, so written messages are great for allowing the receivers to respond at their convenience. While the use of email in business communication is still the norm, we’re already seeing the rise of team chat tools as alternatives to email. However, technology is just the enabler here – great team chat culture is important for making the technology work for you.

This is something we have come to understand while building a modern business messenger: choosing to use great tools is important, but it’s even more important to use them wisely. As we discussed this with our team, it became clear that we’d like to share our ideas about how important team chat culture is in adopting a team communication tool, as well as how it differs from email culture and instant messaging culture.

team chat cultureOur team chat culture in the Fleep team is optimized for productivity. I’ve found that my business communications have become way more effective and less time-consuming since joining the Fleep team.

So how do we use chat? There definitely are some variations within the team, but I’ve found that the following fundamentals of our team chat culture are encouraged:

  • Own your focus

This one lays the groundwork for our team chat culture. It is important to be in control of your focus and not let incoming messages distract you. One practical tip for owning your focus is to…

  •  Mute conversations

team chat cultureWe mute conversations that don’t need our constant attention. For example, I have muted our Fun Chat and Offtopic chat – I want to be a part of them, but I don’t need notifications for new messages in those.

Similarly, I have muted all of our conversations about bugs – I need to be part of them to report bugs, but I do not need alerts for new messages from others. Also, as I manage my emails in Fleep, I have made sure all newsletters are muted and I’ve also enabled Automute.

All muted conversations get my attention when I choose to read them, and they do not distract me at any other time.

  •  Read 1:1 conversations first

One-on-one conversations should get first priority among unread conversations. In these conversations, someone is pinging you directly, so it makes sense to address those first and only then look at group conversations.

Additionally, group conversations where you’ve been @mentioned should get your attention before other team chats. This follows the same logic that someone has posted a message that requires your attention.

  •  Be concise and to-the-point

team chat culture

For the sake of saving everyone’s time (including your own), brevity is a part of our team chat culture. If you have a question, ask the question and don’t start with “hey, are you there?”.

Similarly, the niceties of the email world become meaningless in the context of team chats. (Unsurprisingly, some of the busiest people in the world have also dropped the niceties in their email culture.)

  •  Avoid unnecessary noise

Last, but definitely not least, we try to avoid posting meaningless messages in group conversations – like saying “ok” or “got it” – when they add no value. In other team messengers, these kind of messages are often used to confirm you’ve received the message, but in Fleep we have seen-by indicators to serve that purpose.

team chat cultureAdditionally, a funny gif at the right place and time can say more than a thousand words, but you may want to think twice before posting one. Will it add value? Is it worth everyone’s attention?

If you’re the team’s key comedian, your input is probably welcome – but having a dedicated chat or two for offtopic comments or jokes may be a good idea for ensuring that work conversations stay on topic.

In our team’s experience, these basics cultivate a good team chat culture. While no culture is set in stone, we have tried to make sure everyone in our team is on the same page in how we use team chat. After all, communications forms the very foundation of company culture.

Chat for teams

Fleep User Story: Shipitwise

Fleep User Stories is a series of blogposts that highlights the cool people, teams and companies that use Fleep in their daily business.

This time, we’re featuring team that believes in taking care of the first mile for any customer – meet Shipitwise! More specifically, they take care of the first mile in international shipping. With their service, the customer can relax and doesn’t have to worry about a thing. At this point, Shipitwise is an easy and affordable international shipping service for individuals.


The Shipitwise team: [first row] Sander, Helen Kokk, [middle row] Anna, Aleksander, Ako, [and in the back row] Olari, Ragmar and Priit.

The company is very new – it was founded in June 2015 by Aleksander Gansen (CEO), Olari Miiter (COO) and Ragmar Saksing (CTO). Other members on the team are Helen Kokk – UI&UX fairy of Baltics, Priit Kallas – Marketing guru of Estonia, Sander Gansen – startup hustler with Silicon Valley experience, Anna Medjanskaja – genius logistic with life-long experience in transport and logistics, and Ako Tulu – development ninja, iOS pro with Skype background.

aleksander gansen

Shipitwise started taking orders in December 2015 and launched their web order form in January 2016 (try them out now!). They’re currently also participating in the Startup Wise Guys BusinessTech Accelerator.

We spoke to Aleksander, the CEO himself, about how and why they use Fleep. Without further ado, here’s the Shipitwise Fleep user story:

How did you find out about Fleep? 

Two of our founders were already familiar with Fleep from their previous (successful) startup Fututec. It was a simple decision to start using Fleep as our team communication tool. Fleep is a convenient tool and its interface is really user-friendly.

What do you like about Fleep?

I like that the interface is extremely clear and user-friendly, the application is stable and the search engine is fast. We also enjoy the personal service from Fleep team.

What are your Fleep tips?

star conversatons

It’s smart to create clear group conversations and topics in order to save time on searching for a particular subject or fact across all conversations.

Also, I would recommend making use of the possibility to star conversations – this will pin the most important chats or topics to the top of the conversation list, where they are always in sight.

How do you use Fleep?

Our team uses Fleep for private chats, as well as group conversations. The groups involve different people depending on the topic. For example, the Design and UI conversations do not involve people from Marketing and Sales etc.

Fleep user story shipitwiseWe also make use of the conversation email address. We forward emails to the conversation email and they show up in that specific conversation. This is great for when the content is informative and/or needs the attention of the team members in that conversation.

Also, we have found Fleep to be an ideal tool for collecting social media articles that are relevant to the team. We a have a separate conversation for gathering those - SIW_Social media articles.

Who would you recommend Fleep to?

I would recommend Fleep to anyone who is still using email on a daily basis, needs to follow email conversations and operate inside them.

It is a great tool for any international team as well, much more convenient than Slack. When Fleep is installed, all other platforms seem sooo unfinished. We are using Slack at Startup Wise Guys, but every time I ask myself “Why?!”

ShipitwiseEven the members of a family can make use of it! Basically any person with a computer or mobile device would enjoy Fleep.


Thank you for sharing the Shipitwise Fleep User Story, Aleksander! You can find all featured user stories under the Fleep User Stories category. Make sure you also follow Fleep on Twitter (and #fleepstories) and Facebook to keep an eye on our news and updates!

Chat for teams

Fleep User Story: SprayPrinter

Fleep User Stories is a series of blogposts that highlights the cool people, teams and companies that use Fleep in their daily business.

This time, we are putting the spotlight on the SprayPrinter team. This is a team that believes there’s nothing more uninspiring than a boring blank wall. It’s also a team that uses Fleep as their main team communication tool.

Sprayprinter team

The SprayPrinter team, from left to right: Mihkel, Sirje, Alo, Richard, Henry

We spoke with Richard from SprayPrinter about what they do and how Fleep helps them in that. Read on if you’d like…

What is SprayPrinter?

SprayPrinter is a smart and exciting device that delivers photos, designs and artwork of the user’s choice to any wall. No more uninspiring boring blank walls.

how sprayprinter worksWith SprayPrinter, anyone can be an artist. You choose the image you want to print on your wall from our app, activate the printer and enjoy the process – pixel by pixel, color by color – it’s as simple as that!

sprayprinter fleep

We have already gathered a strong community of artists and designers behind SprayPrinter, creating real value to the users of the device. It might be fun to print a selfie to your wall once or twice, but for professional designs, we are creating a marketplace where designers, artists and photographers can upload their creation and set their own prices. We take 10% in between and everyone is happy.

We are on Indiegogo for crowdfunding – find out more and support SprayPrinter now!

How did you find out about Fleep?

In the Summer of 2015, I helped my friend out in organizing a sailing trip for the Fleep Team. While sailing, I learned a lot about Fleep directly from the CEO, and when I returned to the office the next day, I became a user immediately.

How do you use Fleep?

At first we used Fleep for all of our internal communication and task management, and by now we also use Fleep to communicate with colleagues and partners who are on Fleep. It’s a really convenient tool for discussing tasks and managing all of our online communication.

fleep user story

We have a dedicated conversation for every major topic – finance management, marketing, production etc – and the whole team is included in these to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. Within the team, we also have 1:1 chats to discuss more detailed stuff.

What do you like about Fleep?

I like the fast customer support. But also the fact that the founders of Fleep develop it for themselves – it makes Fleep a really fast-developing and comfortable tool.

What are your Fleep tips?

Watch the tutorials and use all of the capabilities of Fleep.

Fleep usersWho would you recommend Fleep to?

I would recommend Fleep to every organization that wants to make sure everyone on their team knows at all times where is their contribution point.

Thank you for sharing your Fleep story, team SprayPrinter! You can find all featured user stories under the Fleep User Stories category. Make sure you also follow Fleep on Twitter (and #fleepstories) and Facebook to keep an eye on our news and updates!

Chat for teams

How New Technologies Help Small Businesses

How New Technologies Help Small Businesses

Time and money – two things every small business owner needs desperately. Thus, it is important to know how new technologies help small businesses.

A manager has to wear so many different hats, that there are often not enough hours in a day to carry out all the things necessary to keep a company up and running. When it is finally the time to share the dream with workers, business owners find themselves passing over some responsibilities in exchange for welcoming in others.

Management and administration coupled with human recourses is enough to leave anybody overwhelmed. Therefore, it should not come as any surprise that 60% of companies with 100 or fewer employees are turning to human resources technologies to lighten the load (according to a 2015 report from The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit).

The role of HR personnel is very different in a small or mid-size organization, so it is very important to know how and when to invest in human resources. Use of HR technologies can lessen the time spent on administrative tasks up to 50% and save almost 40% in administrative costs.


small businesses

In the pre-internet days, HR recruiters had to rely on printed publications, such as newspapers, to post jobs and get prospects for open positions in their firm. While other methods, such as networking, were also used, HR recruiters did not have the ability to post a job offering in one or more locations and have thousands of people see it at once.

In recent years, career-based sites like LinkedIn have begun developing automated outreach systems to passive candidates on behalf of companies – advanced outreach distinctively tailored to specific candidates. More on that note here.

Employee Training 

A day in the life of a human resource professional is certainly not a walk in the park. A morning could be spent processing new employees and running seminars, then spending the afternoon smoothing out billing issues and passing tissues to anxious administrators.

recruitmentWith tools such as online training, new employees can their training whenever the schedule allows it. The ability to access company information from remote locations eliminates the need for trainers to work directly with recruits on all training. Some eye-to-eye interaction is necessary of course, but online training makes it possible for HR professionals to train a large number of workers quickly and to assess their progress through testing programs.


The modern technology is helping blow apart the traditional model of management control of all information. In today’s world of Twitter and Facebook, information sharing is instantaneous, and communication has entered organizations much more deeply now.

Great team communication tools like Fleep enhance collaboration between people, forming effective conversations around and keeping important notes. Finding a small business communication software that works for your company is key.

Data Storage 

data storage

For the longest, HR experts generally processed a considerable amount of paperwork; they also had to keep much of that paperwork on file for an extensive period of time. Most of the time was needlessly lost digging through an endless number of files in the file cabinet to find what is needed. We have used cloud services and mobile apps for so long in our personal lives that we tend to forget that at some companies (especially small and midsize businesses) they are still brand new.

According to the 2015-2015 HR Systems Survey, only in 2015 more human resource management systems were purchased than on-premise systems. That is despite the fact that the cloud-based software is easier to implement and take advantage of new technologies and features. When it comes to new technologies, while slow, HR is obviously catching up.

Performance Management 

We could say that the fundamental goal of performance management is to promote and improve employee effectiveness. It is a continuous process where HR managers and employees work together to plan, monitor and review an employee’s overall contribution to the company.

Various software programs make it possible for HR pros to examine worker’s performance using metrics to make sure that the worker in question is meeting the establishment’s performance standards. Employees that do not measure up to those standards can be subjected to additional training or they could be let go in favor of a replacement that can get the job done.

Nate Vickery


This is a guest blog post written by Nate M. Vickery, who is a business consultant and the editor-in-chief at

Small Business Communication Software

Fleep User Story: DreamApply

Fleep User Stories is a series of blogposts that highlights the cool people, teams and companies that use Fleep in their daily business.

If you’ve ever attended university, you’ve probably filled in an application and been through the steps of an admission system. DreamApply specializes in exactly that – it is the leading student admission platform. More than 90 university admission systems across Europe run on the DreamApply platform.

DreamApply Fleep user story

The DreamApply team (from left to right, starting from the front): Ahti, Kert, Sten, Safak, Rene, Ieva, Triin and Lauri

And guess what? They use Fleep as their team communication tool!

We sat down with Safak, Kert and Triin from the DreamApply team for a little chat… here’s their Fleep User Story:

How did you find out about Fleep?

Kert Kivaste DreamApply

Kert from DreamApply

Kert: I was the one to introduce Fleep to the DreamApply team. As I joined the team I felt that we need something better than endless Skype chats and conversations. I had used HipChat previously when I was working on my startup but I wanted to try something different and remembered that I had once heard Henn (CEO of Fleep) speaking at some event so I decided to give it a try – now, one year later we’re still using it actively :)

The benefits of Fleep are becoming especially clear as the team grows (we are now 11 people strong, a Latvian-Turkish-Estonian team!). We did take a look at a few different options for a chat for teams, but decided to go with Fleep as it covered all of our requirements perfectly – and Fleep being a fellow Estonian company to support was like a cherry on the top.

How do you use Fleep?

Kert: First and foremost, we use Fleep as a chat application for the team. Several members of our team work remotely or travel a lot, and Fleep works really well with remote work. In short, Fleep helps us to stay in touch and to collaborate at a distance.

We have both one-on-one and group conversations – some conversations are also project-based or around a specific topic. And, of course, there is a separate Watercooler conversation.

What do you like about Fleep?

Safak Samiloglu DreamApply

Safak from DreamApply

Safak: I like that Fleep is web browser based. I just have it open in one tab, and switch to it when necessary. Also, I use the Android application a lot – it’s very handy to have it when I’m on the go. Additionally, I like how it’s really easy to create group conversations and share files!

Kert: I like how the search works really well across conversations – and how the attachments are all in one place in the conversation. Personally, I have also forwarded all of my GitHub notifications to a specific conversation (with the conversation email address). In this way, I get a feed of updates, all conveniently in one place.

Triin Tartes DreamApply

Triin from DreamApply

Triin: Fleep is more customizable than other team communication tools – so you can really make it your own.

Who would you recommend Fleep to?

Triin: I would recommend Fleep to anyone who has project-based communication, for example I think it would work well as a chat for university students. During my graduate studies, we’ve used Fleep as the team communication tool, too.


A snippet of the DreamApply platform – see more on their website.

Thank you for sharing your Fleep story, team DreamApply! You can find all featured user stories under the Fleep User Stories category. Make sure you also follow Fleep on Twitter (and #fleepstories) and Facebook to keep an eye on our news and updates!

Chat for teams